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Houses for Labourers

El Realengo, Spain
1 of 5Fundación Arquitectura COAM. Fondos y Legados. Herederos Kindel

During the 50s The National Colonization Institute was created by the Franco regime to modernize the countryside and increase its productivity through water infrastructure, fields distribution and new villages. In the Alicante province were promoted three settlements: San Isidro (1953-62), Los Saladares (1956-60) and the town of El Realengo (1956-60), all of them projected by José Luis Fernández del Amo.

The Realengo is a town with 340 inhabitants situated on a rectangle of 22 hectares oriented N-S. The urban plot is organized from the two main orthogonal roads N-S / W-E, at the intersection of both is located a large square. A series of concentrated spaces and connected to the public buildings on its edges the church, the town hall, the social club, the cooperative, the office and the schools. The urban grid is composed of a majority of rectangular plots, with a compact appearance, that define streets that begin or end in one of them, avoiding endless perspectives.The architect, attentive to contemporary European urban experiences that combine the urban with nature, rehearses here a tapestry of palm trees and a very low density of housing. The settlers' houses are semi-detached, have agricultural annexes and stand on 750m2 plots attached to 2,000m2 orchards, while the other houses are rowed. Popular architecture reinterpreted in a modern key of elementary geometry and white abstract volumes.

Most houses and their dependencies are reformed so that it is not easy to identify the cubic shapes, or offset grids composition. However, the abandonment of the residential complex, urban spaces and public architectures are in a good state and full of elements that the architect was developing with local artists.

Carretera C- 3321, de Crevillente a Catral y Torrevieja (Alicante)